November 28, 2014

Anyang Nyong’o: Why Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico

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button print grnw20 Anyang Nyongo: Why Kenyan actress Lupita Nyongo was born in Mexico

Fans and haters alike have grappled with one question: is Lupita Nyong’o Kenyan or Mexican?

However, an answer to the puzzle has finally come from her father, the good professor, ending the speculation.

“As her father, let me assure you that Lupita was born in Mexico while we were in political exile there during the dark days of the Moi regime. The family, including her, are Kenyans,” says Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, the Senator for Kisumu County.

On 12 Years a Slave he says: “It’s a wonderful movie, one that made me remember the pain I went through many years ago as an undergraduate reading Eric Williams’s magnum opus, Capitalism and Slavery.

He watched the film first in London at the Film Festival on October 18.

“I could not possibly believe that our daughter, little Lupita, was actually starring in that movie and making the best of her role,” Nyong’o says.

The Nairobian was the first to talk about the potential Oscar buzz surrounding Lupita Nyong’o latest film 12 Years A Slave back in May, and true to our predictions, the film has been heating up film festivals all over the world.

And it is not just the film that has everyone talking, but Lupita Nyong’o who has been dubbed the break out star in Hollywood for her role in the film.

The star tried her acting chops in a number of local projects before going Hollywood. She worked as part of the production crew in The Constant Gardener and Mira Nair’s The Namesake, with her biggest local hit Shuga in 2008. She then made her directorial debut in 2009 where she also wrote, and produced the documentary In My Genes which revolved around the treatment of the Kenyan albino population. In 12 Years a Slave Lupita proves her acting prowess, despite acting alongside Hollywood heavy hitters like Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender, she manages to hold her own and to give a powerhouse performance.

In the film, which is based on an 1853 memoir of a free black man sold into slavery, Lupita Nyong’o plays the role of Patsey, a hard-working slave who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her master and his wife.

When 12 Years A Slave first made its world debut at the at the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival, which took place in August, critics quickly labelled the film and the cast including Lupita Nyong’o as hot contenders for the 86th Film Academy Awards, the hottest ticket in Hollywood which takes places  every year in February.

After bagging her first Hollywood film award, the 30-year-old has been nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Further the nomination list for the 86th Academy will be announced on January 16 and there is a chance Lupita will be the first Kenyan to make it to the coveted list.-The Nairobian

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